With water infrastructure being a hot topic for the past few months, the Value of Water Coalition released poll results on citizens’ attitudes towards water, revealing that the public believes more needs to be done about our water infrastructure.
The Value of Water’s poll findings, recapped in the Huffington Post, show that the majority of Americans want public officials to invest in the nation’s water systems in an effort to avoid tragedies like the lead contamination crisis in Flint. Furthermore, 60 percent of Americans are in favor or paying more to invest in water infrastructure. Circle of Blue released an infographic that shows the percent of current water mains installed by decade, with many dating back to the Civil War era. The graph gives a stunning visual to accompany the fact that an estimated $1 trillion is needed over the next two decades to replace aging water pipes.
While the poll results show Americans are willing to pay more to improve our infrastructure, a new report finds that investment in infrastructure at the state and local level is at a 30-year low. The Fiscal Times lays out the key findings of the report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, including a chart that compares capital investments by state.
On the transportation front, The Hill reported that Americans drove a record 3.1 trillion miles in 2015, which accounts for much of the wear-and-tear of our roads and highways. This underscores the increased need for investment in transportation. Drivers in Colorado, New Jersey, California, Ohio, New York, and states across America are all feeling the damage done by potholes. Rough road conditions have become so normal that, according to Wired magazine, Ford motor company is adapting the way they build vehicles to endure rougher road conditions.
As the new data shows, Americans are willing to make the investment in water, just as studies over the past year prove drivers are willing to pay a bit more to drive on better roads. Now it’s time for our elected leaders at all levels of government to respond to these pleas by making the investment to modernize our infrastructure.